After a two-year long battle for his rights, a Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) driver who was sacked from his job, has finally got justice.
On Wednesday, the Bombay High Court bench of justice Abhay Oak and justice Revati Mohite-Dhere directed the MSRTC to reinstate the driver within a week’s time.
The MSRTC had terminated the services of 47-year-old bus driver Umesh Jadhav (name changed to protect identity) after it was discovered that he was HIV positive. Jadhav is a native of a village in Bhor, and had joined the MSRTC in 1999.
Jadhav challenged his dismissal in the high court in 2012. He along with his lawyer Asim Sarode spoke to the media on Thursday about the case.
“In India, there is no separate law meant for HIV patients. The MSRTC discriminated against Jadhav. They violated his human rights and also our fundamental rights given in the Constitution. The high court order is an eye opener to all those who discriminate at work place. Next week, we have been asked to argue on compensation over mental torture of Jadhav.”
Umesh, a father of two sons, said he was forcefully sent away from workplace without any compensation. His sons, aged 20 years and 17 years work in night shifts and attend college in the day to earn for the family.
“In 2008, during a routine check-up, I was found to be HIV positive. I had to frequently take leave for treatment. When I told my manager, he started harassing me and also told others. After that no one ate with me or talked to me. I started getting isolated, which was painful,” Jadhav told mediapersons.
He said asked for a clerical job but was not given. He said he had undergone check-ups at a state government hospital four times between 2009-12 and reports said he was fit to work. But was not taken back.
The seniors asked the hospital whether he could drive heavy vehicles, and the hospital replied in the negative. The MSRTC officially terminated his services in May 2012.
“This order has rekindled a hope. In ten years in service, I never met with an accident for which MSRTC had rewarded me. Overall my record was good.”